Illinois celebrates 150th Anniversary of Gettysburg Address

IMG_6276 copyAn ambitious series of events is set to mark the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address and help people across Illinois appreciate the famed speech’s impact on history.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) will ­present a copy of the address in a special evening display Nov. 18. An honor guard will watch over the address as visitors file past to see it in person before the fragile ­document returns to the library’s vault for an extended period. Visitors will also be able to visit a special exhibit of Gettysburg artifacts and enjoy ­dramatic readings from the acclaimed book “Team of Rivals.”

Then at midnight, when the speech’s actual anniversary arrives, “Abraham Lincoln” (in the form of historic interpreter Fritz Klein) will emerge to deliver the Gettysburg Address.

“Few speeches in all of history can match the eloquence and ­influence of the Gettysburg Address,” Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Director Amy Martin says. “The 150th anniversary is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Illinoisans to celebrate the speech and the continuing success of government ‘of the people, by the people, for the people.’”

Several of the state’s historic sites with Lincoln connections will host special events and activities leading up to the Gettysburg Address 150th ­anniversary. For more information, visit